Herat Antique Oriental Rugs




Moghan-Savalan Bag Face
Northeast Azarbayjan

19" x 20"
1875 (or earlier)
Cat. #:

This is an old, very interesting and ethnographically authentic Shahsavan tribal weaving.

The presences of certain archaic design motifs, its firm handle and the extensive use of Ararat cochineal suggest that this piece was woven for use within the tribal unit and not for commercial export.

Ararat cochineal, an insect native to parts of Azarbayjan and Transcaucasia, has the molecular capacity to produce a variety of 'red' colors ranging from a pale pink to a bright red to a deep purplish red.

These are natural not synthetic dyes. It is very unusual to see such a range of tonalities in a single example.

The main border design consists of squares in varying shades of blue and red. These nuanced colors do not show well on a computer monitor.

The motifs within each square are what Tanavoli calls a variant of the 'opposed flower and bud' design. (chickak lameh).

The minor or secondary border has an ivory ground and another chickak lameh variant, whereas Frauenknecht refers to this motif with the more Westernized term, 'motor-key' design.

Within the central square one sees a treasure trove of motifs, the very old and the more recent.

There are striped columns in what appears to be a infinite horizontal repeat, two differing animal-like figures, and zoomorphic construcs interspersed with cloud band formations

Condition: The surface condition of the piece is very good. It is complete without damage, extreme wear or repairs. Both ends are reduced and isolated areas of the side wrapping have wear.

$1,800 (currency converter)

Hali #113, Bohmer, Insert Dyes, p. 57

Frauenknecht, Bertram, Early Turkish Tapestries, pl. #18 (18th century kilim with 'motor-key' motif)

Wertime, John, Sumak Bags of Northwest Persia & Transcausia, pl. #81 and pl. #82.

Tanavoli, Parvis, Shahsavan, pps. 54-56, also fig. 33.

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